Are eight weeks really long enough to make a total transformation? The short answer is, YES. Whenever we are seeking to improve something in our lives, it is natural to want immediate results, or as immediate as possible. However, depending on the change, the results may not be so immediate. Luckily, changes regarding wellness ( physical and mental) can be almost instantaneous. When you combine a new exercise routine with an improved diet, you can totally transform your mind, body, and spirit in eight shorts weeks.
Numerous studies indicate it takes 8 weeks to form a new habit, 66 days to be exact. According to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit," habits are not born but created. Duhigg found that habits are created by what he calls a "habit loop," a three-step process of forming a habit.
1. The trigger, this tells the brain to do something.
2. The behavior itself, or the routine it creates.
3. The reward, the pleasure you get from the behavior.
If you are aware of this "habit loop," it is easier to break old habits and CREATE new ones. You need to be mindful throughout your day because some habits are so ingrained that we don't even know we are doing them, like biting our nails while we work or snacking when we get stressed or nervous. Eight weeks is enough time to retrain your brain and create healthier habits.
At the start of your wellness journey, you will begin to see immediate results. You may not see physical changes, but you will start to notice a difference in how you feel. Once you begin to fuel your body and exercise properly, you may notice an increase in energy, focus, better sleep, overall quality of life. Take note of these changes, notice how you feel compared to how you felt when you weren't properly taking care of your body. These are the beginning stages of your body responding to your new lifestyle. Ultimately, the goal is to have the healthiest body as possible. Looking good will come with it but, longevity and the quality of life is much more critical. Once you begin to notice the emotional and more internal changes, allow yourself to become even more motivated. Your results will only improve from here if you stick to your new routine.
The changes in the mirror and how clothes fit will come as soon as 4 weeks. Even after 2 weeks, you may notice things start to change. It is essential you don't focus too much on the scale. It can be a good guidance point but ultimately how we look in the mirror will be the best guide for progress. The number on the scale is not an accurate representation of the changes your body is making. Water weight, lean muscle growth as well as your body fat percentage all play a role in what number appears on the scale. It can be discouraging if the number on the scale doesn't go down, but you need to realize other factors are at play that can't be represented from just weighing yourself on the scale. At the four week mark, your body is now shedding fat and building lean muscle at a consistent rate. Your body needs time to adjust to these changes. Any personal trainer worth his or her salt will tell you that losing two pounds per week is what you should aim for. If you are losing more than that, most likely you are losing some lean muscle as well. Around this four week mark, both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers in your muscle cells will start to grow, and your muscles will get stronger. Your metabolism is now running like a well oil machine, and you will notice a percentage drop in your body fat. Around this four week mark, you will be able to lift heavier weights and increase your cardio output, all resulting in continued progress. At the end of 8 weeks, you will be surprised by how much your body has changed.
Not only is 8 weeks a reasonable timeframe for your body to physically change but it's enough time for you to make new friends, build connections and become part of the community at your gym. I can't stress enough how important this process is in your journey. Feeling a sense of belonging is one of the most basic human needs. Once you develop those new relationships in the gym, you are more likely to continue on your path. You look forward to seeing your "gym friends" which strengthens your commitment to change.
Check out our 8-Week Total Transformation Boot Camp. You'll gain more than you loose.